It might be hard to believe, but in the summer, drivers tend to let their guards down and get lax about their driving habits. Michelin, a tire manufacturer for over 100 years, recently released a study that shows almost 75% of drivers falsely believe there are fewer accidents in summer versus winter because of long days of light, nicer weather and better driving conditions.
The study also notes that more than half of the drivers it surveyed admitted being less cautious when driving, less likely to pay attention to other drivers on the road, and less likely to check the condition of their tires. In truth, some of the most severe tire-related incidents are due to tires that are under inflated.
Whether you’re just driving around town, or planning a long road trip, tire safety (and vehicle safety) should be high on your list. Here are some great tips from Michelin you should follow before hitting the road:
Give your car a checkup: Make sure the vehicle has fluids and is in top condition. Check your windshield wipers so you’re prepared in the event of a sudden summer shower.
Check your tires: Check the tread life (use the penny tip — Lincoln’s head) and air pressure (you should be doing this once a month regardless) and inspect for any unusual wear. Check the air in the spare tire, if you have one.
Practice safe following distance: Give yourself enough room to brake or make an evasive maneuver if an unexpected situation occurs.
Stay focused: Put the cell phone away, make sure everyone is belted (including pets) and you are aware of the vehicles around you.
Carry an emergency kit: Jumper cables, flashlight, first aid, and non-perishable food items are great to have, along with a jacket and emergency phone numbers.
Take breaks: When driving long distances, be sure to stop and stretch your legs to break up a possible driving trance.
The most important tip of all: Have fun no matter where you go, and drive safely!
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